Voyage to recovery!
06 October, 2021
On 12 September 2021, Professor Nandini Chakraborty, a consultant in early intervention in psychosis (EIP) from Leicester Partnership NHS Trust, and several EIP colleagues and young patients from Leicester and from Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust, embarked on what was, in a way, the journey of a lifetime.
When they boarded the Faramir sailing vessel at Ipswich, it was for an extraordinary trip - one in which mental health professionals and patients would live, work and learn to sail side by side, for the next four days.
The trip was part of a UK wide project called the Voyage to Recovery, which came from a networking initiative of EIP teams in liaison with Cirdan Sailing Trust, a not for profit charity.
Cirdan specialises in enabling groups of young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged in some way, to experience the challenge and adventure of life at sea on large sailing vessels. The Voyage to Recovery was an eight-week project, involving eight legs which each included 5-6 days of sailing around the British Isles. Each leg was supported by one or two EIP teams- around 10 patients and five staff in addition to three professional crew from Cirdan.
In due course, Nandini plans to write a blog containing her reflections on the trip, given time to consider events.
In this compelling video diary, Nandini eloquently describes the adventure as it happened, and captures the anticipation and excitement of the Voyage to Recovery.
Day 1 - Just after they set sail
The new team of mental health professionals and young patients have just helped put up the sail for the first time as they navigate the Orwell river. Nandini shares her hopes for the trip.
Day 2 - After spending their first night on board
The crew are due to set sail in 20 minutes - Nandini quickly previews the day ahead.
Day 2 - At the end of the second day
The Faramir is docked at Dover after a long day's sailing. Nandini describes events, including when they spotted a seal, seasickness, and some very rewarding moments.
Day 3 - A tiring day with a stop at a castle
Nandini speaks at the end of day 3, which began with giving the boat a deep clean, included a trip to Dover Castle, and involved a 15 mile sale to Ramsgate Marina.
Day 4 - Sunset reflections
Docked on the Medway river, Nandini looks out on a glorious sunset and reflects on a long sail, and lessons learned on the fourth day of an 'absolutely rewarding trip so far'.
Day 5 - Setting the scene for the day
Nandini's been enjoying the sunrise and sets the scene at the beginning of the fifth and final day of the trip.
Day 5 - Later in the day
Nandini introduces us to a colleague, shows us the boat and looks ahead to the final leg of the trip.
Day 5 - Reaching their destination
Nandini describes the crew's last night, and provides her immediate reflections on the trip, what has been learned and the emotions evoked by the shared adventure.
"It's important we stretch the horizons of our experience far beyond our clinical space so we can be the best mental health professionals we can be," she says.